New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The central government on Saturday waived off the customs duty and health cess on import of items related to oxygen and other equipment for the next three months amid the acute shortage of medical oxygen as India battles the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Several states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, are facing an oxygen shortage that has made it difficult for the doctors and healthcare staff to give proper treatment to severe and critical COVID-19 patients. On Saturday, 20 COVID-19 patients lost their lives amid oxygen shortage at a Delhi hospital.

As the country faces an acute shortage of oxygen, here we at English Jagran would like to inform you all about oxygen saturation and how much oxygen does a COVID-19 patient needs:

What is oxygen saturation?

It is the amount of oxygen in the blood of a human body. For adults, the oxygen saturation in blood should stay around 95 to 100 per cent. However, if it falls under 90, then it is known as 'hypoxemia'. If the saturation level is below 80, the human organs like the heart and brain might stop functioning properly which could lead to failure of respiratory organs or cardiac arrest.

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What are the symptoms of low oxygen level?

The common symptoms of low oxygen levels are shortness of breath, headache, restlessness, confusion, high blood pressure, a sense of euphoria and visual disorders.

When do I need to get hospitalised if my oxygen levels are low?

If you are COVID-19 positive and your saturation is less than 94, then you need close monitoring but you don't need to get hospitalised. Instead, doctors and medical experts suggest that the blood oxygen level could be improved via home remedy.

"For those individuals who are having an oxygen saturation of 92 or 94, there is no need to take high oxygen just to maintain your saturation. It is not going to be of any benefit," said Delhi All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) director Dr Randeep Guleria, as reported by DNA.

However, if your oxygen level is less than 90, then you must immediately consult a doctor or visit a hospital.

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"If the oximeter reading is consistently 85 or 90, it's not a one-off reading, the patient is short of breath and unable to talk, you might need oxygen inhalation. If they don't have a condition called COPD, where oxygen levels are chronically less than 90, that's a worrying factor," India Today quoted Dr Viny Kantroo of Apollo, Delhi, as saying.

Are there any ways to improve blood oxygen level at home?

Yes, as per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, proning is one of the easiest ways to improve blood oxygen levels at home. You also need to consume iron-rich foods and stay hydrated to improve your blood oxygen levels.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma